If you want to learn something, sign yourself up to teach, or write, on the topic.
I had two speaking gigs in August only days apart. My life would have been nice and easy if both were on the same topic. They weren’t. The first talk was for a women’s luncheon. The second for the Idaho Writers Guild. For the luncheon, I was scheduled to talk about The Wine and Chocolate Workout, my nonfiction health and wellness book. The guild wanted to learn about selling books on Amazon.
I wasn’t crazy about either topic.
You’d think talking about a book I wrote would be fun. But it’s been a long time since I wrote it. Plus, I want to position myself as a fiction author now. Speaking about selling books on Amazon brings on all kinds of self-doubt. It’s not as if my books are flying off the computer into people’s Kindles at the moment.
Enter the principal mentioned above. If you want to learn or update your knowledge, sign yourself up to teach.
I asked myself: “What do I want/need to know about?”
Chances are if I want, or need, to know something my audience will feel the same. After all, I am both a woman and a writer. I had lots in common with the people who’d be attending both events.
I began to reread The Wine and Chocolate Workout and got excited. It struck me the principals in it for making a healthy lifestyle change work for any kind of life altering decision. Including a career change.
I entitled my talk, “How to Stay Young.” I used the health information in the book to discuss practical aspects of caring for your body. The broader principals illustrated how being willing to tackle new things keeps your mind and perspective young. That allowed me to segue into my new career as a fiction author.
It was a big hit.
Not only with the women who attended, but with me! I inspired the heck out of myself. I made a few exercise and dietary changes which are paying off, and gave myself courage to think bigger when it came to my career goals.
A version of the above talk aimed at writers seeking publication is in the works for my gig at the Southern California Writers Conference. Instead of staying young, however, the topic will most likely be staying strong and persisting through rejection.
Moving on to the Idaho Writers Guild talk.
Selling books is, obviously, something I, and most of you, are interested in knowing more about. Thankfully, Megan and I had just wrapped up final edits on Aspiring to Author – A Guide for Your Author Career. There are two chapters in the book that include how to set up sales funnels, position your book on Amazon, and run countdown deals.
Using those sections as a blueprint, I began to outline my talk. And, guess what? I got excited. The truth began to seep through my thick skull. The reason books don’t fly off the computer into people’s Kindles is usually a marketing problem.
Of course, there is always the poorly executed story. But assuming your book has decent reviews, if and when you’re able to get any, your problem and mine is all about marketing.
That talk, too, went well. I had more information than I had time to share. Some aspiring authors told me they felt better equipped to set up their author platforms. Even a veteran commented he learned nuggets he hoped would take his regular $3,500 to $4,000 a month sales up a notch.
I walked away chomping at the bit to practice what I’d just preached. Maybe one day my big worry would be taking my $3,500 to $4,000 a month sales up a notch.
Many of us believe we have to wait until we’re bonafide experts on a topic before we can teach others about it. That’s a mistake. The experts often don’t have time to speak or write. They’re too busy making money doing whatever it is they’re an expert in.
Often we learn best from someone just a step or two ahead of us, someone who’s still growing and excited.
So what about you? What do you need to learn more about? What are the fuzzy areas in your writing career you tend to avoid? Be honest. Add them to the comment section below, and Megan or I will be in touch. There just could be an O.C. Writers blog post in your future.
She’s published articles on culture, health, and entertainment for a variety of national magazines including Victorian Homes, Zombies, 50 Scariest Movies, Exodus, and Women of the Bible. She’s also the author of the Amazon Kindle Bestseller The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Sip, Savor, and Strengthen for a Healthier Life.
You can visit her at http://gretaboris.com. She describes her work (and her life) as an O.C. housewife meets Dante’s Inferno.